The Surprising Reason Why Superheros Exist

Whatever form they take… bat, spider or otherwise, everyone loves a good superhero. From comic books to major motion pictures, it’s hard to deny their popularity.

The formula for making a good superhero is fairly straightforward. Take one individual. Give to said individual a strong sense of morality. Add to this a sense of mission and a willingness to sacrifice self for the good of others without expectation of reward. Throw in a fight against evil and injustice, extraordinary powers with which to fight, and there you have a superhero.

It’s important to realize that superheros are not the result of highly imaginative fiction writers. Their origin comes not from the mind of man, but from the soul. They are the materialization of deep, inner-most longings for someone heroic to truly exist.

Why do we hope for such a person?

We know that evil is real. We feel it’s pain and we long for its removal. We yearn for justice, hope and security. We want good to prevail over evil. Because of this, our hearts ache for someone not like us, someone who is beyond us, greater than us to save the day.

They may not know it, but any time, anyone has ever created a character, written a script, or imagined a scenario where a heroic character rises to face evil, it is because of Jesus Christ. John Piper describes this when he says that “All heroes are shadows of Christ.”

What this means is that all fictional heroes are actually inferior imitations of a real-life hero. They are cheap substitutions for the One we all hope exists, who really does exists.

Consider His superhero credentials. His morality is perfect. He is relentlessly on mission. He made the greatest personal sacrifice anyone could ever make solely for the benefit of others. His powers are not just extraordinary, they are without limit and He courageously and permanently defeated evil.

So every time you see a caped crusader or a mask-wearing avenger, remember the real reason behind why they exist. More importantly, remember that there is a Hero of all Heroes who did far more than just save the day… He saved the world.

Do you have a favorite superhero? What do you admire in them that might also be found in Christ?